Catarina Paraguaçu

2001, 162 x 100 cm, Acrylic on canvas

Heroine of conquest-era Brazil. Daughter of a Tupinambá chieftain who marries a shipwrecked Portuguese adventurer, and is converted to Catholicism in France. At one stage in his career, Diogo Álvares Caramaru (whose Indian name seems to be the “fishily white-skinned one”) is taken prisoner and she sets up her personal war party to rescue him. Here she is in the midst of her preparations, lipstick and all.

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